are typically fighting back, stretching to a 5-0 lead over England in the on-going ODI series.
Since the 2007 World Cup triumph in the Caribbean, the Aussies have dropped home series against India and South Africa and lost two ODIs in a five-match series against Pakistan in Dubai/Abu Dhabi last May.
The Australians are developing a new one-day team for the 2011 World Cup and a new generation of stars are in the making, learning hard lessons along the way.
"The Champions Trophy is a key event on ICC's cricket calendar and is a good opportunity for us to see how this new-look Australian one-day squad goes in its bid to retain the Trophy," chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
"The one-day team hasn't played in a major tournament since the 2007 World Cup and this will be a good chance to see where we are at.
"The team is in a rebuilding phase and we look forward to seeing how this squad goes in South Africa as we prepare for the 2011 World Cup in the subcontinent."
Ponting, who became the first Australian skipper in 100 years to lose two consecutive Ashes Test series in England, took some time off during the ongoing seven-match ODI series in England to escape the pressures.
He obviously has an eye on Australia's demanding playing schedule beyond the Champions' Trophy, including a one-day series against India in October as well as six home Tests against the West Indies and Pakistan.
Ponting has already announced his retirement from international Twenty20 cricket in a bid to prolong his Test career.
"The decision is all to do with my longevity in the game," Ponting said.
"Over the last couple of years I have found it increasingly difficult to play all three forms of the game at the level that I want to play them."
Ponting has become the team elder in a younger group following the retirements of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer.
He now relies on vice-captain Michael Clarke and senior batsman Mike Hussey for the experience that is largely missing from the current set-up.
Australia's Trophy chances also took a blow with the loss of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin following finger surgery.
The big-hitting Haddin broke the ring finger of his left hand prior to the third Edgbaston Ashes Test and has been replaced in the Trophy squad by Tasmanian Tim Paine.
The Australians will be also relying on the batting of emerging star Callum Ferguson and allrounder Shane Watson and the bowling of Ashes troupe, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Nathan Hauritz, complemented by senior paceman Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken.